Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM) or Preterm PROM

August 16, 2010



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Premature rupture of membranes (PROM) is a condition where the amniotic sac or bag of waters which surrounds and cushions the baby breaks before labor begins. When the membranes rupture before 37 weeks of gestation, it is known as preterm premature rupture of membranes.

Premature rupture of membranes (PROM) occurs in about 25 percent of preterm births.

What Causes Premature Rupture of Membranes (PROM)?

It is not know what exactly causes premature rupture of membranes. There is a higher incidence of PROM in women who smoke, have had a sexually transmitted disease, intrauterine infection, or have had PROM in a previous pregnancy.

African American women are twice as likely as white women to have PROM. Having a multiple pregnancy can increase the risk of PROM.

Additionally, procedures such as cervical cerclage and amniocentesis can increase the risks of PROM.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Premature Rupture of Membranes?

Signs of PROM are gushing or leaking of amniotic fluid. It may sometimes be confused with leaking urine. The leaking fluid will appear clear or pale yellow in color. Fluid may gush or leak slowly.

If you think your membranes may have ruptured, it is important to contact your health care provider immediately.

What is the Treatment for Premature Rupture of Membranes?

Treatment depends on your condition and how far along you are in your pregnancy. You will be evaluated to determine if there is an infection present.

If it is close to your due date, your doctor may induce labor.

If it is not close to your due date, you may be placed on bed rest and monitored closely. Your health care provider will make recommendations to help decrease the amount of fluid that is lost.

Hospitalization may be necessary in order to better monitor your condition and the health of your baby. It may be necessary to deliver the baby prematurely if the baby is stressed or if an infection or other complication develops.




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